Sportsmanship while announcing is very important and the first thing we’re going to cover to give you a better understanding of the importance of a sportsmanlike announcer.
Sportsmanship can come from many angles and people who disagree with your style will sometimes try to use sportsmanship as a means of telling you that you’re wrong, that they are right and that you should accommodate them. The kind of sportsmanship we’re talking about is the kind that gives respect to your opponents, while also creating the home-field/ice/court advantage for your team.
The first thing you need to understand is the home team is the home team, they are playing on their home turf and they should be treated as the home team by the announcer because the home team is most likely providing the announcer. The home team will provide some sort of compensation from food and drink to money in some situations. Keep this in mind when you have a visitor, who will only attend the games that their team is playing at your home facility, who may approach you with a request to announce a certain way, turn the music down, etc.
Try your best to accommodate all requests, no matter who they come from; but remember that for every fan that wants you to tone down your announcing, there are many others who will be upset with your accommodating someone who may only be making the request based on their own beliefs and not that of a majority. Think about the request and why it’s being requested. It’s acceptable to ask “why” to try to figure it out as some people will try to give you an excuse to cover up a hidden agenda to why they want the music and/or announcing turned down. Coaches are not exempt from this and some have even put up a fight to have another team accommodate their wishes.
There are times that sportsmanship should take precedence over all else. Some of those situations include:
- Injuries: always allow medical staff to tend to the injured player, don’t speak over the sound system until the player is up and walking. Even what appears to be a minor injury could be more serious than it appears. It’s also a good idea to not identify an injured player based solely on their uniform number. You may not be close enough to clearly see their face to realize that they are wearing a different number. By identifying the wrong person, you could cause a whole new set of problems with confusion to the actual injured player.
- Amazing accomplishments: a player who breaks a school’s or league’s scoring record, throws a perfect game or no hitter, scores a benchmark goal, etc. should be recognized regardless of the side they are playing. Highlighting a personal accomplishment that doesn’t happen every day is good sportsmanship and will garner respect for you from the opposition. Even in professional sports, there have been some excellent examples of good sportsmanship such as when the Vancouver Canucks lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins and the Canucks game operations department played the Standells’ “Dirty Water” during their post-game celebration. The song is tied closely to Boston and was played after Bruins home wins throughout the season. It was a very classy move by the Canucks.
- Blowouts: games that are obviously out of reach for one team over the other. It’s not uncommon in games like these to ease up on the announcing, however there may be players getting to play in a game like this that don’t normally play. Their two or three plays in a game that’s been decided on the scoreboard may be the only time that player is on the field and their family has a chance to hear their name announced. Keep giving your best, but don’t go over the top for your team. In fact, in this situation, you could even give a little more to the opposition as a way of rooting them on while also still supporting your own team.